The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a Socio-Cultural group, Oyo Development Initiative, has condemned the recent protest staged by students in Oyo State over the new government policy abolishing automatic promotion for secondary school students.
The information was contained in a statement signed by the group’s Coordinator, Dr Adesola Okanlawon, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Sunday, October 30.
He condemned the violent protests, describing it sad while warning that those involved would be punished by the government.
Okanlawon said, “It is sad that we now have touts in school uniforms. The action of the students is rather unfortunate and all hands must be on deck to deal with the situation.
“Even, students of higher institutions rarely destroy government properties during their ‘Aluta’ days. One now wonders what students of secondary schools have turned into.
“To repeat a class is not a new thing and students who are adjudged to have failed are expected to repeat the class.
“The recent statistics of students’ failure released by the government shows that education is on the verge of collapse if the government does not take strict measures to save it.”
Okanlawon stated that students receiving automatic promotion despite poor performances were simply unacceptable.
“We urge the government not to treat the recent protest with kid gloves and call on them to ensure that strict measures were put in place to prevent future occurrence.
“Parents of the affected students and schools should also be invited for talk and made to sign an undertaking of good behaviour,” he said.
The Coordinator urged stakeholders in the education sector to support government initiatives such as this new policy to reform the educational sector while calling on the media to sensitise the public on the need for a new education order to be established in the state.
According to NAN, only students who score 50% and above in their core subjects, including Mathematics and English would be promoted under the new policy.
The Oyo state government has said that the policy would not be reversed despite the protests.
NAN reported earlier that some secondary school students staged a violent protest over the policy on Thursday, October 27, destroying facilities in several schools.
The protests reportedly caused five schools to be closed down in Oyo town and two in Ibadan.